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Orange County Welcomes Church of Scientology to Historic Home

Santa Ana, California • June 2, 2012

On Saturday, June 2, city and state dignitaries joined thousands of Scientologists in downtown Santa Ana to dedicate the new Church of Scientology of Orange County.

The Church’s new home, located at 505 North Sycamore Street, most recently served as the Santa Ana Performing Arts and Event Center. The 48,000 square foot building was originally constructed in 1931 as the Santa Ana Masonic Lodge. It remains one of Orange County’s finest examples of Art Deco architecture and is listed on the city, state and national registers of historic places. The Church of Scientology faithfully restored and preserved the structure, including its iconic facade anchored by a six-story central tower. The Church further returned the building’s ornate interiors to their former glory, from the alabaster chandeliers and hand-painted ceilings to the carved mahogany staircases. The landmark third-floor ballroom once again stands as a gathering place for the community, serving as the grand Chapel and auditorium venue for parishioners and people of all faiths in Orange County.

In emphasis of what this day signified for the community as a whole, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and Scientology’s ecclesiastical leader, dedicated the new Church. Mr. Miscavige addressed the gathering with these words: “We come to the first momentous page of this Church’s new history. Needless to say, it’s not a tide of history on which one merrily floats. On the contrary, it must be a history unlike any ever told before, a history of supreme competence, great passion and perfect adherence to our Technology. For only in that way will we ever achieve the Aims of Scientology and thus a world without war, without insanity, without criminality; a world of which we can be proud, where the able can prosper, where honest beings have rights and all are free to rise to greater heights. That is our responsibility as Scientologists—and, yes, it’s one that we proudly embrace.”

Among those on hand to welcome Orange County’s new Church were Anaheim City Council Member Lorri Galloway; Garden Grove Mayor William Dalton; Santa Ana Preservation Society Board Director, Ms. Maxine Schmidl; Orange County’s Faith in Youth Project Director of the Community Service Program, Ms. Lourdes Gutierrez; and Orange County Interfaith Network Board Member Mike Penn.

Anaheim City Council Member Lorri Galloway acknowledged the significance of this new Church of Scientology in light of its leadership in community partnerships: “It is wonderful that such a massive international church such as yours is making its home in such a beautiful venue and iconic building. It is a perfect partnership. Reaching out to the community is a trademark of yours.”

Garden Grove Mayor William Dalton spoke of the Church’s community education programs: “One of our greatest champions of education in California and the nation, Cesar Chavez, once said, ‘The end of all education should surely be service to others.’ You are all fantastic examples of Cesar Chavez’ ideals in action. Because you all put what you have learned, and what you know, right back into the community.”

Santa Ana Historic Preservation Society Board Director, Maxine Schmidl addressed the Church’s preservation work: “The Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society is thrilled that you invested so much care in staying faithful to this original landmark. In doing so, you stayed true to its historical significance to Santa Ana. So, thank you for your respect and your commitment.”

Orange County’s Faith in Youth Project Director of the Community Service Program, Ms. Lourdes Gutierrez, highlighted the Church’s drug education work: “I would like to congratulate you for doing so much to help us create healthy and safe communities in Orange County, and helping us to save lives. I look at this new Church as a place from which we will finally be able to work together on a much grander scale to save many more lives.”

Orange County Interfaith Network Board Member Mike Penn spoke of the Church’s role in the interfaith community. “What better example of common spiritual understandings is there than this statement from your founder, L. Ron Hubbard: ‘Happiness and strength endure only in the absence of hate. To hate alone is the road to disaster. To love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.’ When we realize your sacred scriptures say the same things mine do, we have these ‘ah ha’ moments, and our future is brighter with possibilities of greatness!”


This new Church opens its doors to provide Orange Country residents with an introduction to Dianetics and Scientology. Visitors are invited to take a self-guided tour of the expansive Public Information Center, presenting informational and documentary films on every aspect of the religion, including the life and legacy of Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center also offers a detailed overview of Church-sponsored humanitarian programs, including a worldwide human rights initiative; equally far-reaching drug education and rehabilitation programs; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program, comprising the world’s largest independent relief force. In full, the Center’s multimedia displays present more than 500 films, available at the touch of a button. The Center is open morning to night for visitors to tour at their leisure.

Orange County’s new Church further includes expansive facilities to provide Introductory Services to those new to the religion, including Dianetics and Scientology Personal Efficiency seminars and an array of Life Improvement Courses. The Church also provides dozens of rooms dedicated to the delivery of Scientology auditing (spiritual counseling).


The new Church of Scientology of Orange County is the ­fifth Ideal Church of Scientology to open in California since 2010.

Other Ideal Organizations (Orgs) opened this year include: the Church of Scientology Greater Cincinnati, February 25, 2012; the Church of Scientology Sacramento, January 28, 2012; and the Church of Scientology Hamburg, Germany, January 21, 2012.

Ideal Orgs realize the fulfillment of Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s vision for the religion. They not only provide the ideal facilities to service Scientologists on their ascent to greater states of spiritual awareness and freedom, but are also designed to serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift citizens of all denominations.

Further new Churches opened in recent years include Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; New York, New York; Washington, D.C.; Tampa, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Seattle, Washington; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; Pasadena, California; Inglewood, California; as well as Quebec City, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; London, England; Melbourne, Australia; Brussels, Belgium; Madrid, Spain; Rome, Italy; Berlin, Germany; and Moscow, Russia.

More than 10 new Ideal Orgs are further scheduled for grand opening in 2012. For a complete list of new Churches of Scientology, visit

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 10,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

Nick Banks

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

16 thoughts on “Church of Scientology celebrates grand opening in Santa Ana”
  1. This is one of the most beautiful churches of Scientology I have seen. Everything about it is just stunning. So nice. Thanks for posting the great article.

  2. Awesome piece of independent journalism… finally someone who says it the way it really is!
    If the support by public offices continues… Santa Ana is going to be a community in every way as healthy as Downtown Clearwater.

  3. Great article and photos! Here, Here, Well done New Santa Ana Blog. I was curious why there were elected officials from Anaheim, Garden Grove, and other cities but not from the host city Santa Ana? Also, why do they get so much grief from Germany and other European countries? Seems to be such a nice group of folks.

  4. I heard Scientology plans to give all the money it received for its “services” back to the community, to be more like Cesar Chavez… is that true?

    1. The only reference to Chavez that I found in their press release was this one:

      Garden Grove Mayor William Dalton spoke of the Church’s community education programs: “One of our greatest champions of education in California and the nation, Cesar Chavez, once said, ‘The end of all education should surely be service to others.’ You are all fantastic examples of Cesar Chavez’ ideals in action. Because you all put what you have learned, and what you know, right back into the community.”

  5. Maybe the Santa Ana officials did not show up because they did no want to be seen as supporting a mafia-like organization that disconnects families, spies on and harasses its critics with its own secret service, extorts money from its members, abuses its own staff and operates a mind-control prison in Hemet California?

    (Google Scientology or read one of the many books out there, for example Janet Reitman’s “Scientology” – very well researched).

  6. Art, would you please take the tour and report back your impressions? Seems that David and others feel that Santa Ana is not a good location for this church. I’ve never seen a church generate so much interest in Santa Ana for a very long time.

  7. Kudos to the Church of Scientology for the wonderful renovation and stellar grand opening. There will be a beacon of light added to the community which will help shine amongst others in the area.

  8. If you even think about going to that place and writing a “follow up post”, our spies will follow you up good, and will not hesitate to write you up. SAPD is taken care of.

  9. Great Posts Admin,

    After your tour, why don’t you allow both sides to explain thier points of view here on New Santa Ana?
    Your site may be the only place to do it in a fair and caring way. Thanks for keeping it real.

  10. I was introduced to Scientology in 1974 and have been a Scientologist ever since. I’ve always been proud of my religion but to see the ribbon fall and the doors open on the beautiful building so that all can use the technology whether they are Scientologists or not to better their lives and our community, I have never been prouder. I use the information I’ve gained through it with my wife & children and family and in my business and my relationships with others. These are rough times in which we live and Scientology is definitely a stabilizing influence in my life.
    You are welcome to stop by and visit, take a few minutes or a few hours and find out what Scientology is first hand for yourself.
    L Ron Hubbard wrote “What is true for you is what you have observed yourself”.

  11. @Boniface
    I don’t think the protests were so much against Santa Ana as a location specifically, more against the abuses that go on inside and around the organization.
    A little bit of google will tell you a lot.
    There are definitely two sides to the story, and it makes sense to know both of them… just to make up your own mind.

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